Hau, Lene Vestergaard

Hau, Lene Vestergaard
▪ 2002

      In 2001 Danish scientist Lene Vestergaard Hau became one of the all-time most prominent women physicists when the journal Nature published a paper in which Hau and a team of physicists at the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Mass., described how they had sent a pulse of laser light into a tiny cloud of extremely cold gas, halted the light, stored it for a fraction of a second, and then released it. Though Hau's team was not the only one to achieve this feat, the latest research related to altering the speed of light had its roots in an experiment conducted by Hau in 1999. In that experiment Hau and her colleagues at the Rowland Institute shone lasers through a cloud of ultracold sodium atoms—known as a Bose-Einstein condensate—which effectively slowed light from its normal speed of about 299,792 km (186,282 mi) per second to 61 km (38 mi) per hour. It was believed that these advances could translate into practical applications that would substantially improve telecommunications and computers.

      Hau was born on Nov. 13, 1959, in Vejle, Den. From an early age she enjoyed mathematics, and she excelled at school, skipping the 10th grade. She entered Aarhus University, where she was drawn to studying physics owing to an interest in mathematics and quantum mechanics. She earned a B.S. degree in mathematics in 1984, an M.S. in physics in 1986, and a Ph.D. in physics in 1991, all from Aarhus University. Her studies included seven months at CERN in Geneva. She accepted a postdoctoral position on the faculty at Harvard University, where she later became the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics. Hau also took a position at the Rowland Institute, serving as principal investigator for the Atom Cooling Group. In 1994, working with Jene A. Golovchenko at the Rowland Institute, Hau developed one of the first elements that led to the slowing of light. Called a “candlestick,” the device wicks sodium atoms out of molten sodium metal and projects them into a cooling apparatus that, by using lasers, cools the atoms to a temperature 50 billionths of a degree above absolute zero.

      Hau attributed her success in a field dominated by men to her upbringing and her homeland. Her parents, she said, encouraged her in her studies just as much as they did her brother. In addition, in Denmark laypeople and other scientists regarded physicists highly, and research was sometimes funded by private interests. Hau herself had studied for a year on a scholarship subsidized by Carlsberg brewers.

Anthony G. Craine

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lene Vestergaard Hau — (* 13. November 1959 in Vejle, Dänemark) ist eine dänische Physikerin. 1989 nahm sie eine zweijährige Stelle als Postdoc an der Universität Harvard an. Sie erhielt 1991 ihren Ph.D. von der Universität Aarhus, Dänemark. Sie war zunächst in der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lene Vestergaard Hau — (født 1959) er ph.d. fra fysikstudiet på Århus Universitet og dansk forsker. Hun startede som forskerassistent i USA og har efterfølgende arbejdet for Rowland Institute for Science, der er et forskningscenter i Boston. Den 18. februar 1999 vandt… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • Lene Hau — Lene Vestergaard Hau (born in Vejle, Denmark, on November 13, 1959) is a Danish physicist. In 1999, she led a Harvard University team who succeeded in slowing a beam of light to about 17 metres per second, and, in 2001, was able to momentarily… …   Wikipedia

  • Lene Hau — Lene Vestergaard Hau (* 13. November 1959 in Vejle, Dänemark) ist eine dänische Physikerin. Hau studierte Mathematik und Physik an der Universität Aarhus (Vordiplom Abschluss in Mathematik 1984, Diplom in Physik 1986). Sie war einige Monate am… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lene Hau — Lene Vestergaard Hau (Vejle, Dinamarca, 13 de noviembre de 1959) es una física danesa. En 1999 dirigió un equipo de la Universidad de Harvard (EE. UU.) que logró reducir la velocidad de un rayo de luz a aproximadamente 17 metros por segundo. En… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vestergaard — ist ein vor allem in Dänemark verbreiteter Name. Er bedeutet soviel wie Westhof. Folgende Personen tragen unter anderen diesen Namen: Jacob Vestergaard, Minister in der Regierung der Färöer Inseln Jannik Vestergaard (* 1992), dänischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liste der Biografien/Has–Hau — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mathematics and Physical Sciences — ▪ 2003 Introduction Mathematics       Mathematics in 2002 was marked by two discoveries in number theory. The first may have practical implications; the second satisfied a 150 year old curiosity.       Computer scientist Manindra Agrawal of the… …   Universalium

  • Electromagnetically induced transparency — The effect of EIT on a typical absorption line. A weak probe normally experiences absorption shown in blue. A second coupling beam induces EIT and creates a window in the absorption region (red). This plot is a computer simulation of EIT in an… …   Wikipedia

  • Bose-Einstein condensate — ▪ physics       a state of matter in which separate atoms (atom) or subatomic particles (subatomic particle), cooled to near absolute zero (0 K, − 273.15 °C, or − 459.67 °F; K = kelvin), coalesce into a single quantum mechanical (quantum… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”